By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Two painful truths in baseball: Base-on-balls will kill you and so will three-run homers.
Northern Oklahoma College Enid found that out in a 13-1 loss to No. 9-ranked Connors (31-3) at David Allen Memorial Ballpark Monday.
The Jets, using many of their little-used pitchers, were only down 2-1 after six innings as Connors left 10 runners on base.
The Cowboys blew the game open with four runs in the seventh and seven in the eighth.
Three of Connors’ runs in the seventh came on bases-loaded walks by the Jets’ Devin Ring. Ring departed in the eighth after walking four of the five batters he faced, including a bases-loaded walk to Dalton Daniels.
Christian Perez greeted Kent Callison with a two-RBI single, his third and fourth RBI of the night. A batter later, Yariel Gonzalez hit a three-run homer, his fifth RBI of the night, and Phillip Diedrick followed that with a solo homer off the right field foul pole.
“Once you get down that much, and guys are struggling with control and having to throw it down the middle, that’s easy to hit,’’ said Jets coach Raydon Leaton.
“We had our chances early (NOC Enid left five runners on through the first three innings) and didn’t do it. That was the difference in the game.’’
Zayne Dougan allowed only four hits over six innings to get the win for the Cowboys. He retired the last 12 batters he faced after Chase Knott opened the third with a single.
“Our pitching and defense have been really good,’’ Connors coach Perry Keith said.
“That’s what we have been doing all year. We pitch and play defense and we eventually screw around and score some runs.’’
However, while the margin of the loss was disappointing, Leaton still came away encouraged.
NOC pitchers John Chidester, Matt Kenne-well, Hayden James, Christian Lafontan and Brett McNaughton allowed only two runs the first six innings.
The Jets had planned on going “with staff’’ with a conference doubleheader with Redlands set for Wednesday at David Allen.
“We had some guys who had thrown only two or three innings out there,’’ Leaton said. “Some of them were trying to prove to us they deserved more innings and they will probably get that. They were bulldogging it a little. We had a couple of them have rough outings and that’s all that it takes.
“I think those guys threw well. They threw strikes and that’s what we needed to see. Mid-week games outside of conference are meant to give guys innings that haven’t had them. We had some pitchers do a good job and give us confidence in them if we need to use them in conference.’’
Right fielder Korbin Polston threw Tyler Fourkiller out at third in the seventh with a perfect strike. Third baseman A.J. Wilson made some nice plays. Left fielder Adam Dolan and center fielder T.J. Turner had spectacular catches.
“We played hard,’’ Leaton said.
“Like I said before, though, when you get behind in the count and throw fastballs down the middle, they will make you pay for it.’’
The Jets got their lone run in the second when Haden Johnson doubled to right, stole third and scored on Turner’s single. The rally ended with the bases loaded when Dolan struck out.
The Cowboys opened the scoring in the first when Perez singled and scored on a double by Gonzalez. Perez homered over the left field wall in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie.
It was the eighth straight loss for the Jets, who dropped to 7-28 overall.